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Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics

Which alt-med is which Republican candidate?

Best analogy ever? I think it’s a contender, straight from Balloon Juice:

The Republican party in Iowa reminds me of a patient with a terminal disease (Romneyitis) desperately turning to alternative medacine. They’ve cycled through homeopathy (Bachmann), naturopathy (Cain), chelation (Perry) and aromatherapy (Paul). Now they’ve hit the final frontier–urotherapy. I’m glad that I’ve never been so desperately ill that I’ve contemplated drinking my own piss, but I can imagine what it might feel like if I consider the level of desperation needed to vote for Rick Santorum.

I must admit, I laughed out loud when I read the last bit likening Rick Santorum to urine therapy. The only question I have left is: Which candidate is reiki or “energy healing”? It must be Newt Gingrich. Who else is left?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

56 replies on “Which alt-med is which Republican candidate?”

The only respectable candidate running in Iowa is Ron Paul.
The rest are Rhinos. At least Ron Paul has been consistent from day one of his career. The rest have flip flopped like a fish out of water so many times that we fail to keep numbers.

Never tried chrystal therapy, but my aunt is into energy healing, auras, and all types of crystals and gemstones. Never tried any of it, but might give it a shot one day to see what it’s all about. I am currently reading her book on how to see auras. If I succeed in seeing auras, I might pursue things further. If not, oh well.

Never tried a coffee enema. Tried a Dial Soap and shampoo enema one time. Do not really care for enemas.

Chelation does in fact work and there are products over the counter to purchase for such purposes as needed.

Passionless drone – we beg of your knowledge of how to solve the nation’s economic problems. Please do not say “tax the rich” becuase that does not work. Confiscation of one’s income is not the solution to every liberals’ utopian downfall.

Even if you confiscated every single cent that every rich person is worth in America you could only run the country on it for about a month. Then what? The rich will be out of money and you wll be without “rich” in which to place further taxes upon.

“what is that yellow plastic thing that Callista Gingrich is wearing on her head?”

We could ask the same thing for Hillary Clinton.

We could ask George Soros “What is that ugly thing on your neck? Oh, excuse me kind sir, that is your head.”

Now, onward to my mobeus coil.

Lawrence are you saying that the republican headquarters should be moved to San Fransicko? The capital of fairyland?

Huntsman would be The McDougall Diet. Gingrich would be colon hydrotherapy . . . with a bitter mixture of vinegar and the tears of the wealthy.

I still can’t believe the Republican field. I have given up trying to understand how such clownshoes could possibly be running for the most powerful office in the world. When I was growing up, the GOP candidates were always boring and gray to the point of parody, at least until Reagan (at whose feet I lay the blame for the economic crisis and the religiofication of the Republican party). Huntsman is the only one who seems to have any sense at all, which means he will be in the single digits in Iowa.

But what am I complaining about? To lose this election Obama will have to be caught on video sacrificing white, Christian fetuses in a secret underground temple in front of a huge three-headed statue (Satan Allah Marx) wearing an off the shoulder Vera Wang evening gown and a Viking helmet.

And speaking of helmets (tinfoil, not Viking), what’s up with the endless thread over on the Jenny McCarthy post? It gets to about 546 and disappears, like it ran out of black photos or something. Anybody else seeing (or not seeing) that? I’m starting to have Grandma Marsha withdrawl.

I’d have to say naturopathy is represented by Romney.

Both consist of contrary positions with a big misleading overarching label.

For naturopathy, it is science [so little] and antiscience [so much] then all falsely labeled science-based — that something is logically equal to what it is not.

For Romney, it is a similar illogic: a ‘say anything and take any pleasing position to get the vote’, which creates this huge contrary record of opposites all presented as if internally consistent.

Or to put it simply: Romney is as muddled and irrational / illogical as naturopathy.

And for me, delineation and internal consistency begins to lead toward something both are missing:

integrity.

-r.c.

Interesting question.

Santorum gets the santorum related, the coffee enema therapy. And pretty much all the other therapies involving stuffing things up your ass. All the smell and mess, but none of the love.

I’m going with Michele Backmann for crystal therapy. Her preference for imposing crystalline ideological purity to real national ills in the hope the ‘energy fields will align’ and effect a cure seem similar. Her interpreting time, space and history in terms of her imaginary ideological fields is very like ‘vibrations’ in crystal therapy.

Mit Romney, hereafter refereed to a Mittens, is clearly the naturopath. He will use any/all the other modalities but that isn’t what he is really selling. The product is confidence in Mittens. He comes well shaven and dressed in a clean, starched lab coat of authority. A self-mad man who grew up rich, a job creator that made most of his money downsizing companies and shipping jobs overseas. He confidently strides into the room, gives you a firm handshake, a reassuring pat on the shoulder. He looks you square in the eyes and reassures you that it will all work out. While, in the back, his secretary is checking your credit rating and bank accounts to see how much he can take you for. He is the slow-hand, smooth talking huckster with the confident, reassuring tone of absolute reliability.

He has reason to be calm and confident. The game is rigged so he and his always profit handsomely. He will offer you anything that sounds good to you. If you mention homeopathy he will give you all the high-priced water you can swallow, or rub into your belly. If the herbal remedies catch your eye he will stuff you with an entire botanic garden. Anything, anything at all, to distract you while the money is extracted.

Did my earlier comment appear in moderation or did it just never make it? My iPad is acting quite odd with Sb of late.

Heh. Here is another perspective, though it doesn’t help the Republicans any.

Repulican: Tax cuts are the solution to the countries economic problems.

Alt-Med: is the solution to all of your health problems.

– pD

@ palindrum

If i were super wealthy and a nutty marxist threatened to raise taxes on me significantly the way you speak of do you know what i would do? I would cahs in all my stocks, bonds, etc, close my factories entirely, put my money into physical gold bullion and hide it in a safe soemwhere n a country that that you have never heard of.

If you want my money, go find it chump. Guess what. many others feel the same way about people stealing their stuff. If you can find it you can have it.

Even though I make less than $25,000 per year I still look for ways to beat the unfair system we are under. Buying and selling precious metals for cash on the head at guns shows and private residences is a good way for any man under this tyrant tax system to survive and make money. It is perfectly legal to buy sell and trade gold and silver coins and bars at a gun show or private residence. Even if oe does not buy sell and trade gold and silver coins anything could substitute as money.

I once purchased a silver coin with a box of new ammunition. An equal trade at a pawn shop. Cash can be anything that two parties agree upon as payment. You could use food, precious metals, ammo, etc. to trade items between private individuals in your own home and never be excessively taxed for it.

The more that marxists tighten their grip, the more people try to beat their system. People will find a way.

You guys haven’t been watching all the Republican debates…they are the best shows in town. I so miss 9-9-9 Herman (“Herbie” according to Palin) Cain. Who knew he was such a “player”?

Rick Santorum was interviewed by David Gregory yesterday and he flubbed even the softball questions…simply not ready for prime time.

Bachmann is definitely the equivalent of crystal therapy or reiki…perhaps her husband uses these therapies to turn gays into straights. Maybe he will branch out to cure HPV vaccine-damaged girls.

Rick Perry represents chelation to remove the dullard toxins from his system.

Ron Paul qualifies for all the alternative and science-based therapies…he has the money and the good medical insurance to pay for any therapy. Anyone else should die on the steps of the hospital.

Then there is Old Faithless Gingrich for stem cell therapy to give him a new lease on his candidacy and to repair his damaged-beyond-repair ethics.

“And speaking of helmets (tinfoil, not Viking)”…what is that yellow plastic thing that Callista Gingrich is wearing on her head?

The Republican Party has become a punchline – I wish we could go back to the days of Ronald Reagan, as he at least knew when to compromise, proposal amnesty to deal with illegal immigration, and raise taxes when necessary…you’d think the current Republican Party was living in some kind of fairy land.

The current crop of democrats are far out into left field. So much so, they could be mistaken for Soviet spies.

It would suite their current mentality – I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. They’ve abandoned their roots & have no idea how to actually govern.

It would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad to watch.

@ Lawrence: I feel that way about my religion. I didn’t leave Christianity, the “Christians” left me. They have abandoned their humanity and charity to all mankind, for the narrow-minded hatefulness of the fundamentalists.

It would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad to watch.

@lilady – you’ve been an inspiration for me to pay more attention and speak my mind, on here and in other places. I want to make sure that my two sons have all of the advantages and opportunities that I had.

Concerned Skeptic @12:

Even if you confiscated every single cent that every rich person is worth in America you could only run the country on it for about a month.

Well, let’s see. The total net worth of the US is about 55 trillion dollars, 40 percent of which belongs to the top 1 percent. That’s about 22 trillion dollars, a sum that would run the government pretty well for more than “about a month”. I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to start a progressive tax on excessive wealth, say a couple per cent per annum on holdings over 10 million. Anyone with such holdings could easily afford it, and it would raise a tidy sum That’s after we put a tiny tax on stock transactions to quell volatility a bit.

I will now stop feeding the trolls.

Raising taxes is bad, except when Ronald Reagan did it in 1982 (in the middle of a recession).

The current crop of Tea Party Republicans are so far out in left field that I don’t think they are even playing the same game anymore….I won’t say that both sides of the house haven’t had their problems, but I do know that the last time we had a balanced budget, Clinton was President and the resulting surplus was squandered in senseless wars.

A great commentary on the jockeying of the States to be the first to run caucuses/primaries during this election cycle:

“As Iowa Goes, So Goes Iowa” (Michael Barone, Wall Street Journal-December 29, 2011)

@ Lawrence: I’m blushing here…just “consider” that the ladies on RI are your mentors…we are tough, gutsy babes… that can teach the young’uns a thing or two.

@lilady – wish I could say I was still a young’un, but certainly not as young as I used to be….but I do appreciate the wisdom of others, especially the level-headed gals around here.

@Lawrence #20

Surely “The current crop of Tea Party Republicans are so far out in far right field” …

If only Woodrow Wilson had never been elected … A dream come true.

C’mon, Rob, churn out a proper screed about the Bull Moose Party.

While you’re at caricature assignations, how about the Tiergartenstrasse 4 program (Obama) for his Medicare “payments”

@ xyz: The subjects of this particular blog are the Republican candidates.

Just what is it about Medicare payments that you are getting yourself worked up about?

I don’t understand your analogy about Medicare payments and Nazi euthanasia programs…care to explain?

Romney is obviously a homeopathic dose of conservatism.

Newt Gingrich (of the opinion-of-the-month club) is analogous to the diet of the month.

Ron Paul (things were a lot better back when we ignored the rest of the world) is analogous to the paleolithic diet (things were a lot better back when we hunted mastodons).

I think reiki plays for Mr Gingrich. Remember that load of bollocks about him being a great intellectual (or orator or “statesman”)? It seems to have all the sincerity of reiki – which, if memory serves, is the attempt to legitimize the “I’m not touching you!” game that small children play with their siblings (don’t make it weird – you know the one I mean) as a treatment for disease.

Incidentally, if “I’m not touching you!” has healing properties, it must rely entirely on not having a pre-existing relationship with the patient. Or reality.

Oh hey, back to Gingrich again. That analogy went further than I had planned or wanted.

“I don’t understand your analogy about Medicare payments and Nazi euthanasia programs…care to explain?”

And of course, similar to quacks defending their respective brand of nonsense, instead of pointing out the substantive merits of the current GOP candidates, the more fanatical supporters resort to drive by rhetorical smears, which have little to do with reality. I can guess what xyz might be referring to, but but no rational voter regardless of the party believes that anyways, and the conspiracy mongers will always be stuck in the birther/Muslim/communist/etc club.

I was asked by a facebook friend to clarify the analogies. Here’s what I came up with. Does it work?

Well, loosely I’d say that since there is little enthusiasm for Romney, especially among far right conservatives who perceive him as too moderate, even though he is the most likely of the current candidates to be able to win, the conservative base is looking for alternatives no matter how crazy. Bachman is transparantly irrational like homeopathy (e.g. http://​politicalhumor.about.com/​library/​bl-michele-bachmann-quotes.​htm?PS=667%3A1). Cain, with his business background, appears superficially part of something well-organized and mainstream (like naturopathy), but there is little substance or legitimate content beneath that venner (like naturopathy; e.g. http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=WW_nDFKAmCo).

Perry is outright ridiculous and dangerous, like chelation therapy (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=ByGf8lP87HU, http://​dissentingjustice.blogspot.​com/2011/08/​governor-perrys-dangerous-i​deas-for-us.html). Ron Paul is crazy and is taken seriously by almost no one, like aromatherapy (e.g. http://​politicalhumor.about.com/​od/republicans/a/​Ron-Paul-Quotes.htm). And to vote for Rick Santorum, one would have to be desperate enough to throw out all common sense, just as one would have to be to try drinking urine as a cure for disease (e.g. http://undercovernun.net/​post/3480857628/​heres-a-sampler-of-quotes-f​rom-rick-santorum).
Obviously, the point is parody, and so the analogy is not meant to be strict or serious. And of course, it’s only funny if one finds these candidates and alternative medicine fit subjects for parody. Obviously, if one is sympathetic to either, this won’t seem funny.

Gingrich is Suzanne Sommer’s bioidentical hormone anti-aging treatment. Only, he replaces wives, not hormones.

They are all different forms of acupuncture – a bunch of pinheads intent on sticking it to the voters.

It’s not really medical (at least, I fervently hope not!), but for an alternate definition, you might google “Santorum” and “Dan Savage” together …

Oops! I should add that the search I suggested in #34 is probably NSFW, if you work at a respectable place!

Liladay

I feel that way about my religion. I didn’t leave Christianity, the “Christians” left me. They have abandoned their humanity and charity to all mankind, for the narrow-minded hatefulness of the fundamentalists.

It would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad to watch.

Says the lady who stands with the atheists and god haters. How cognitively dissonant you are.

All atheists aren’t skeptics. But all skeptics are atheists. That’s a logical fact.

Bachmann can’t be crystals or reiki or yoga or anything similar, because they’re Satanic witchcraft. She could only be good old-fashioned Christian laying-on-of-hands.

#7 Art

He confidently strides into the room, gives you a firm handshake, a reassuring pat on the shoulder. He looks you square in the eyes and reassures you that it will all work out. While, in the back, his secretary is checking your credit rating and bank accounts to see how much he can take you for. He is the slow-hand, smooth talking huckster with the confident, reassuring tone of absolute reliability.

That sounds like Stanislaw Burzynski and his antineoplaston therapy.

Actually, given the recent rulings by the Supreme Court, I am waiting for the 2016 or 2020 Presidential campaign between McDonalds & Burger King….or maybe between Coke & Pepsi for President….corporations are people too, thanks SC.

@ SkeptVet: Your politicalhumor.about.com links are “keepers” and brilliant. I could not connect to any of the other links (sigh).

Definition of COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
: psychological conflict resulting from simultaneously held incongruous beliefs and attitudes

Lilady, Believing in the supernatural while simultaneously claiming to be a skeptic is an incongruent belief. But you can go on putting your head in the sand or plugging your ears if that creates dissonance for you.

On a more serious note,I think as a cancer surgeon/cancer doctor,you (Orac) would be supporting the one candidate who is the most vocal advocate for medical marijuana,for treatment of pain,for cancer,for autoimmune diseases,like I have,or for any other serious medical problem.The man who introduced legislation to Congress to protect patients using medical marijuana,and realizes it’s effectiveness in relieving pain,Dr.Ron Paul.


http://norml.org/news/2008/04/17/federal-medical-marijuana-bill-introduced-by-rep-ron-paul
http://www.issues2000.org/tx/Ron_Paul_Drugs.htm

@HealthEd:

Ah, the infamous santorum neologism, disgusting but certainly in line with poetic justice. I was an avid reader of Savage Love when santorum was introduced as a sexual term and thought the whole thing was hilarious.

Combining two of Orac’s interests, apparently, Ron Paul is an honorary member of a “vaccine choice” group, namely “Michigan Opposing Mandatory Vaccines”, and has been so since 1996. Link on my ‘nym.

Bachmann can’t be crystals or reiki or yoga or anything similar, because they’re Satanic witchcraft. She could only be good old-fashioned Christian laying-on-of-hands.

I don’t want to poo-poo nasal irrigation, but there’s just something that screams “neti pot” about her.

The only question I have left is: Which candidate is reiki or “energy healing”? It must be Newt Gingrich. Who else is left?
Yes, thats the question…

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